AstroMaster 114EQ is one of the worst telescopes I’ve seen in a long time.
This is a telescope that shouldn’t be bought in any circumstance. Unfortunately, Celestron is completely content with selling innocent beginners junk for their hard-earned money.
This telescope is a Bird-Jones. This is a risky design that uses a corrector lens. If it is done properly, it provides great results. But AstroMaster 114EQ’s optical design is far from decent.
The corrector lens is inside the focuser. It is the worst placement for a lens since the eyepiece is in constant movement. Adding to that, the lens is far from the correct shape.
You can’t get any kind of decent image with AstroMaster 114EQ. The only thing that looks OK is the Moon, but it looks good with any telescope.
If someone from Celestron is reading this, please stop selling this model.
Funny enough, the plastic mount is better than the optical tube.
Don’t get me wrong, the mount is also terrible and frustrating to use. It has lots of plastic on plastic parts, and the metal parts get worn down immediately. But at least it is not a marketing scam like the optical tube.
The 20mm eyepiece is similar to the optical tube. It is put in the box just so Celestron can write something that will attract beginners. There is no need for an erect-prism eyepiece. There are no directions in space.
Image quality is more valuable than the rotation of the image. You can throw the 20mm eyepiece to the garbage.
The 10mm eyepiece is a decent Kellner. It may be the most valuable part that comes with the telescope.
The red dot finder is also pretty decent. But it comes with most telescopes at this price range.
The optical tube is one of the worst designs in the market.
The mount is not a good design. It is wobbly and mostly plastic. It gets word down quickly.
The 20mm eyepiece is useless.
If you exclude the bad parts of AstroMaster 114EQ, you are only left with the 20mm eyepiece and the red dot finder. Not a single dollar of your money is being spent on something valuable with this telescope.
Please consider other, high-quality, durable telescopes. A tabletop Dobsonian would be the best choice for at this price range. Zhumell Z130 and Heritage 130P are great choices.
In-Depth Review and Technical Specifications
I’m aware that the review is pretty harsh, but unfortunately, AstroMaster 114EQ deserves it. I wouldn’t mind if the telescope was marketed honestly, or it was priced lower. But Celestron is trying to trick beginners into buying something easy to manufacture so they can profit more. This is unforgivable.
The optical design is there only so they can write higher numbers on the box.
AstroMaster 114EQ is marketed as a telescope with 1000mm focal length with 114mm aperture. This by itself attracts many beginners into buying this telescope.
What they don’t know is the 1000mm focal length is created by a corrector lens, which has errors in its shape and placed in the worst place possible in the telescope, the focuser.
The focuser is the most dynamic part of any telescope. It constantly moves while observing, as are a result, the corrector lens gets misaligned constantly. Adding to that, since there are more parts, the telescope is really hard to collimate. This is especially bad for beginners.
The result is a low-quality image that is really not worth the price. You can see major celestials such as Jupiter, Saturn or some details on the Moon, but really nothing worth considering.
At this point, you should probably stop reading. A telescope without proper optics is not really a telescope.
The mount is mostly plastic. It is not smooth and doesn’t provide enough stability. Metal parts get worn down, thus creating a need for regular greasing.
The 20mm eyepiece is worthless. As if there is not an extra lens in the optical design that is reducing image quality, there is another extra lens in the eyepiece that is reducing image quality even lower.
The 10mm eyepiece and the red dot finder are not bad. They are probably the best parts of the whole telescope. They also come with most of the beginner telescopes at this price range.
The focuser works fine.
The whole telescope is a drawback. There is not a single part of AstroMaster 114EQ that is worth praise.
AstroMaster 114EQ is like an old model tractor that needs repair and is being sold for a high price.
It doesn’t do its job properly, which is providing good images.
It has major problems with the mount.
Its accessories are OK but are not important at this point.